Taking a closer look at the technical details behind Yamaha’s 2019 WR450F Rally bikes ahead of the Dakar in Peru this January.
Following the official presentation for the 2019 Dakar Rally this week in Paris, where routes and stage details were revealed, Yamaha has released the first images of the WR450F Rally machines which will compete the epic event in Peru from January 7.
Receiving key updates for 2019, the latest gen WR450F Rally will power Yamalube Yamaha Rally riders Adrien Van Beveren, Xavier de Soultrait, Franco Caimi and Rodney Faggotter at Dakar.
Production bike in rally clothing
Rally bikes always make fascinating viewing but the Yamaha always catches the imagination a little more because, of the factory machines, it is the only one derived from a production enduro bike.
Littered with parts developed by GYTR, the necessary 33 litre fuel tanks, enormous radiators and the navigation tower, the Yamaha is no less highly developed.
Yamaha claim internal engine modifications focus on combining outstanding performance with controllability with “a series of specially developed EFI fuel maps to meet riding conditions and match the tailor-made Akrapovic titanium exhaust system – just as you’d expect in this sport which is increasingly fast but also demands a rideable machine.
Based on Yamaha’s aluminium frame from the WR450F, the Rally bike’s chassis package features a 2cm longer swingarm (WR450F enduro wheelbase is 1465mm, rally bike is 1485mm) for improved high-speed stability.
Topping the team’s priorities also was the goal to provide a neutral riding position, which is as close as possible to the stock WR450F enduro bike. Engineers positioned the fuel tanks to still allow free and easy rider movement. The caster angle and trail figures remain at claimed standard WR figures (26º 20, 114mm respectively) while offset is modified to 25mm.
To make sure the long Dakar stages are possible and to reduce weight, new 33 litre plastic fuel tanks slink from under the seat and down besides the engine. Acerbis have clearly been working hard on the bodywork too.
Weight distribution is obviously a priority on every part of the WR450F Rally bike, but the position of fuel tanks takes a lot of R&D from rally teams to get the best compromise. Yamaha’s up top air box design allows among the lowest fuel tanks from any of the dedicated rally bikes.
The total dry weight of 142kg (162kg with oil and fuel) seem almost unbelievable for a bike designed for Dakar with all the additional components bolted on.
The 2019 WR450F Rally features 52mm KYB front forks and factory developed rear shock. An oversize 300mm front disk handles the added loads of braking from higher speeds with a Brembo four-piston brake caliper doing the rotor biting.
Yamaha WR450F Rally 2019 Specifications:
Engine: Single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves
Displacement: 449 cc
Bore x stroke: 97.0 mm x 60.8 mm
Compression ratio: 12,5 : 1
Lubrication system: Wet sump
Fuel system: Fuel injection + GET system
Clutch type: Wet Multiple Disc
Starter system: Kick + Electric
Transmission system: Constant Mesh, 5-speed
Frame: Semi double cradle
Front suspension system: Telescopic forks 52 mm diameter
Front travel: 310 mm
Caster angle: 26º 20
Trail: 114 mm
Rear suspension system: Swingarm, KYB Factory rear shock
Rear travel: 318 mm
Front brake: Brembo, Hydraulic single disc, Ø 300 mm
Rear brake: Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm
Front tyre: 90/90-21
Rear tyre: 140/98-18
Overall length: 2,185 mm
Overall width: 845 mm
Overall height: 1,290 mm
Seat height: 975 mm
Wheel base: 1,485 mm
Minimum ground clearance: 325 mm
Complete weight (including fuel and oil): 162 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 33 litres
Oil tank capacity: 1,2 litres
Photo Credit: Yamaha Racing
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org